Excitement grows! Tickets selling fast! 3rd Annual ATO Heroes’ Gala counting down to the special calendar date: March 28th!

Tom Kennedy, Editor

It’s already the biggest ever gala in Assist the Officer history. You can still get your tickets – if you’re lucky. This year’s ATO Heroes Gala was nearing the magic “sell-out” stage as the Badge & Gun went the online route of “going to press.”

“The time to act is now!” event chair Gabriela Gregory told the B&G. “If you haven’t already purchased your tickets, we still have some left. Just as important is making your reservations to stay at the very upscale Lancaster Hotel across from our new larger event venue.”

The high point of the gala will be the recognition of the ATO Heroes of the year. The Patrol Officer of the Year and the Investigator of the Year will take center stage, for this is always the time to recognize the unending spirit of being HPD’s brightest and best.

The ATO Board will choose the honorees from the Houston Police Officers Union’s monthly award winners from the 2019 calendar year.

The Ballroom at Bayou Place, located at the old Albert Thomas Convention Center, 500 Texas Avenue, will accommodate the gala’s largest crowd ever. “Everyone will love the spacious dance floor with more room than our past venues,” Gregory asserted.

She was as equally excited about the accommodations at the Lancaster with its spacious rooms and outstanding food service.

Gala tickets are $95 each ($190 per couple) and available online.  Even the dinner tables are larger than before, accommodating 10 instead of just eight people. Cost to reserve a 10-top table is $950.

Ticket link: one.bidpal.net/2020heroesgala.

For reservations at the Lancaster, call 713-228-9500 to reserve a room with discount code ATO by Feb. 25. These special ATO accommodations include a gourmet breakfast buffet, complimentary premium high speed WIFI, 10 percent discount off Cultivated F+B restaurant located in the hotel, welcome champagne/sparkling water at registration, and complimentary snacks/drinks in your room.

“We have more space for more people to attend,” Gregory said. “We’re looking for about 500 guests this year. We had 400 from last year so we’re adding an additional 100. Last year there were people calling and asking for tickets right up until the last minute.

“We really had 450 – we squeezed them in. That’s why we’re going to a bigger place in 2020.”

Gregory was careful to stress, “The Assist the Officer’s 3rd Annual Heroes’ Gala will be more exciting and grander than the previous years, so be sure to visit ATO’s Facebook for sneak peaks!”

The gala has become the ideal place for HPD and the supporters of Assist the Officer to dance, have fun and, especially, to honor the heroes of the Department.

Once again, popular radio DJ Dana Tyson of Sunny 99.1, the friend to numerous Houston police officers, will serve as emcee. Infinite Groove, “the ambassadors of fun,” will be tuned in as the dance band on a bigger-than-ever dance floor.

Co-chairing the event with Gregory is Sgt. Matt Williams. Both will be wheeling and dealing information about Assist the Officer and the services and fundraisers it provides to officers and their families in need throughout any given year.

This year will also include a Ladies and Men’s raffle (do not need to be present to win) and it will feature customized thin blue line watches. More items to be announced!

Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday the 28th. HPOU/ATO Photographer Gary Hicks will be available to take pictures of couples and groups – free of charge!

The sit-down dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with the presentations of the heroes to promptly follow.

“Assist the Officer is very excited about this year’s program,” ATO chairman Tom Hayes said. “It’s always a great honor and privilege to recognize the officers who have stood out as heroes this year and every year.”

The board of Assist the Officer, which was founded by Mike Mitchell, will select the heroes of the night from the 2019 patrol and investigative officers of the month in its January board meeting.

There were no honorees in July since the HPOU has no general membership meeting that month. Also, there were no Investigator of the Month awards for June and August.

Monthly Patrol Officer Honorees

  • January – Officers John Daily and Alonzo Reid
  • February – Officer Tim Goemans
  • March – Officer Roland Rosas
  • April – Officer Ashley Kelley
  • May – Officers Lucas Vieira and Thomas Serrano
  • June – Officers Norman Escobar, Ramon Guillen and Adam Alvarez
  • August – Officers Jasmine Selle, Keven Smith and Lazaro Maldonado
  • September – Officer Nathaniel Alvarado
  • October – Officers Rosaeluita Estrada and Antonio Villarreal
  • November – Sgt. Chris Chrebet and Sgt. Mike Burton
  • December – Officers Jorge Amesquita and Daniel Stewart

Monthly Investigative Officer Honorees

  • January – David Yoon of Special Victims
  • February – Alfredo Garza of Narcotics
  • March – Miguel Guerra of Special Victims
  • April – Laura Medina of Special Victims
  • May – Jeremy Medina of the FBI Safe Street Task Force
  • September – Jose Garza of Special Victims
  • October – Dana Wyche of Burglary and Theft
  • November – Zane Brumley and Matthew Althaus of Major Assaults and Family Violence
  • December – Steven Magness of Narcotics